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Contact hypothesis - Wikiversity

Another important empirical finding is that the effects of intergroup contact will typically generalize to the entire groups involved in the contact and across different situations beyond the initial contact. Sometimes, they even spread to other outgroups (Pettigrew, 1998; Pettigrew, Tropp, Wagner, and Christ, 2010),

What now for the contact hypothesis
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Increased prejudice, distrust and conflict

Meta analysis shows that this occurs in
Focusing on only positive factors limits our understanding

Negative contact includes
– Intergroup anxiety
– Authoritarianism
– Normative restraints
– Unequalstatus
Placing intergroup contact in its
longitudinal, multilevel social

There were a lack of longitudinal studies and no multi level studies found in Pettigrew and Tropp (2006)’s meta analysis.

If intergroup contact is thought of in terms of a set of cumulative processes involving a series of selection stages, it makes sense that these types of studies are necessary

Applying intergroup contact research to social policy
In the past, there has not been enough emphasis on transforming the understanding we have gained from research into practical application.

To think about...
How could we structure optimal contact situations in concrete institutional settings?

Towards a new research agenda ..

And these respondents tend to reveal less prejudice comparable to those who report only positive contact (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2011)
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Simply knowing more about the outgroup typically does not have a major effect on reducing prejudice as demonstrated by the effects observed.
Communication and inter-group conflict:
The Contact Hypothesis

Empathy and perspective-taking
Feelings of apprehension and awkwardness in situations with outgroup members, perhaps because rejection, embarrassment, or misunderstandings are expected.

- Intergroup contact typically reduces intergroup threat and anxiety, which in turn reduces prejudice.

Binder et al (2009)
Blascovich et al (2001)
Pettigrew & Tropp (2008)
Intergroup contact, especially close, cross-group friendship, can enable someone to take the perspective of outgroup members and empathize with their concerns.

Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Pettigrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 65-85.
Pettigrew, T. F., & Tropp, L. R. (2008). Allport’s Intergroup Contact Hypothesis: Its History and Influence On the Nature of Prejudice (pp. 262-277): Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Pettigrew, T. F., Tropp, L. R., Wagner, U., & Christ, O. (2011). Recent advances in intergroup contact theory. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35(3), 271-280.

The contact hypothesis revisited

Various analyses (especially Pettigrew and Tropp, 2006) clearly support the effectiveness of intergroup contact for improving attitudes towards outgroups.
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- Vescio, Sechrist, & Paolucci (2003)
- McFarland (1999)
- Pettigrew & Tropp (2008)

The Intergroup Contact

Allport (1954)- contact
between groups under optimal conditions
can effectively reduce intergroup prejudice.

• Four optimal conditions:

Since then, this hypothesis has inspired and guided many studies aimed at discerning the effects of intergroup contacts on intergroup relations. Researchers have tried to test it in different situations (where the conditions are present or not) and with different groups (by ethnicity, nationality, language, age, sexual orientation, profession, and body (dis)ability). Most of the research supported Allport’s claim (Pettigrew, 1998).

2011; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006) and stipulates certain optimal conditions under which contact reduces prejudice.
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Psychological Science, 17', 862-868

Support of authorities, law or custom.
Research since

• Pettigrew and Tropp (2008)-meta- analysis:

Ø Direct causal link between contact and reduced prejudice.

Oskamp (Ed), Reducing prejudice and discrimination: …

The secondary transfer effect of contact describes a process whereby attitudes towards outgroups not encountered in the original intergroup encounter might also be improved (Pettigrew, 2009; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006).

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